Gorge kids do well at State Spelling

A girl from The Dalles won her division and a Hood River boy took second at the Oregon State Fair Spelling Championship.

Sixty-three of the best spellers from 27 Oregon counties showed their spelling prowess at the ninth annual event held on Sept. 2 and sponsored by Oregon Spellers.

Sonja Jacobsen, The Dalles, representing Wasco County, won Division III, grades 9-12.

In Division II, grades 6-8, Sean Counihan of Hood River Middle School, representing Hood River County, took second.

Following the official championship, a “just for fun” verbal spelling bee drew crowds, as adults, children, and teens competed on stage before a panel of judges.

The Oregon Statewide Spelling Championship is a written contest, not an oral bee. Students who win their local and county spelling competitions are invited to compete against the best spellers from all over Oregon.

KOIN 6’s Andrew Dymburt emceed the championship where he pronounced each word, used it in a sentence, and then repeated the word. All participants received the same words. The audience was invited to test their skills by spelling the contest words along with the students.

Elementary school spellers were challenged by words such as “ventriloquist” and “accommodations” while middle school students were asked to spell “sebaceous” and the high schoolers tried their hand at words like “sycophant.”

First, second, and third place championship winners received monetary prizes, provided in part by the contest’s fiscal sponsor, the Oregon Association for Talented and Gifted.

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